Ann Landers was a pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley in 1943 and taken over by Eppie Lederer in 1955. For 56 years, the Ask Ann Landers syndicated advice column was a regular feature in many newspapers across North America. Due to this popularity, 'Ann Landers', though fictional, became something of a national institution and cultural icon.
The creator of the 'Ann Landers' pseudonym was Ruth Crowley, a Chicago nurse who had been writing a child-care column for the Sun since 1941. She chose the pseudonym at random — borrowing the surname 'Landers' from a family friend — in order to prevent confusion between her two columns. Unlike Lederer, Crowley kept her identity as Landers secret, even enjoining her children to help her keep it quiet. Crowley took a three-year break from writing the column from 1948 until 1951. After 1951 she continued the column for the Chicago Sun-Times and in syndication (since 1951) to 26 other newspapers until her death, aged 48, on July 20, 1955. Crowley spent a total of nine years writing advice as 'Ann Landers'.
In the three-month period after Crowley’s death, various writers, including Connie Chancellor, took over the column.